Awards for the Hordes. How to Organize an Award Ceremony!
In short, an award ceremony is an opportunity to recognize an achievement and reward it in a room of your respected peers, and often luminaries.
Award ceremonies need to be an amazing experience for everyone – not just the winners. An award ceremony is a true celebration of outstanding effort and achievement and everyone at the event needs to feel like a real VIP, with the winner’s euphoria adding to the already heady atmosphere.
Corporate Events Management/LJS Events have created award ceremonies to suit all budgets with one thing in common – delivering the all important Premier package and creating a memory nobody will easily forget! We understand the value to you of your event sponsors and always have an eye on enhancing their branding while enhancing everyone’s experience.
From the glitz and glamour of a Post Oscar ceremony party to a more intimate awards gathering in intimate venues across the UK and Europe, our bespoke stage sets, stunning creative and super-wide screens incorporating the latest technology has left a real impression with our guests.
Award Ceremonies are an important type of event when you consider that we live in a society that loves to honor people for their achievements. Some of the most watched programs on television are award ceremonies including the Oscars, the Grammy’s and the Olympics. Companies, organizations and other groups love to honor their own. These ceremonies are coordinated by in-hour meeting or marketing professionals or outside companies. The components of putting together an awards ceremony include:
The coordination of the judging process. Particularly in a non-profit, this may be done by a committee. If you pick celebrities, particularly media celebrities to be judges, you will likely guarantee that your event will be on television or in the newspaper.
Once you have the judges. Make sure they understand the rules and agree to keep their selections secret until the ceremony.
Once you have the judges, the next decision is how you will accept submissions. You can run an announcement in the local media if want to get submissions from throughout the community. If the awards are based on performance from within an organization, ask for submissions from within that organization.
The scope of the awards ceremony will determine where you will hold the event. If you are handing out awards to recognize community service, you may want to consider a large banquet room at a hotel or venue build for this kind of event. Small awards ceremonies that are just for the company could be held in the company board room or at a local venue with good open spaces although again I would look at some draw card there, like with The Penthouse London and Altitude, having stunning views of the skyline and a 180 degree balcony.
What kind of awards ceremony:
If you are planning a big community event, you will have unique challenges. If the ceremony is a formal dinner, you have to decide menus and make sure that the venue has everything needed for a successful ceremony.
Who will be the master of ceremonies? This is an important honour. If this is just a corporate event, the owner or other company executive may have this task. For large community events, having a celebrity as master of ceremonies will draw attention to your ceremony. This can be a local celebrity that everyone knows or if you have the budget, a well-known celebrity BUT always make sure the person is comfortable with speaking in front of crowds.
Who else will speak ?
You will likely want to have a guest speaker or speakers at your awards ceremony, particularly if these are community-oriented awards. Guest speakers can talk about the mission of your organization and inspire others to be award winners next year. Again, you can choose a local celebrity, a well-known personality or someone from within your organization.
As guests are entering and even during the ceremony, you want them to be entertained. The type of entertainment will be determined by type of event. You don’t want a rock band at an awards ceremony honouring those who have raised money for a conservative non-profit. And the entertainment does not have to be extremely formal. Have someone playing the piano as guests arrive and possibly as they eat dinner.
The invitation to an awards ceremony needs to reflect the spirit and mood of the event. A community celebration should have a colorful logo from the sponsoring organization. Most formal initiations have a font that resembles elegant calligraphy. Make sure you include a way for guests to RSVP. You want to make sure the honorees are there. Thanks to advances in desktop publishing, these invitations don’t have to be expensive. The invitations can be created online and printed from the office printer (if the printer makes quality copies).
Guest registration at the awards ceremony is especially important if you want to make sure the honorees are in attendance. You can set up a table outside the entrance to the meeting room and ask people to sign a sheet. If you are having a less formal event, you can even issue name tags to the guests at the registration table.
If your awards ceremony is a community event, you will want to sell tables. You have a few ways to approach table sales. 1. You can run an announcement in the newspaper and local media announcing the event. Be sure to include information about how to purchase a table. 2. If this is an annual event, draft letters to past attendees reminding them of the event and asking them for their support again. 3. Have volunteers assist with table sales by asking their colleagues and friends.
The award itself:
Finally, remember you have to purchase the awards. These can be statuettes, like the Oscar, plaques or framed certificates. Make sure you order them in plenty of time for them to be ready for the awards ceremony and in enough time to correct any errors.
Now from my personal experience :
“Imagine there are 63 different elements involved in an award ceremony. If you had an infinite budget you could work with every single element and style, twist and theme them to make it exceptional. Of course, most clients don’t have that sort of budget. But if we really understand the client, if they’re working with me and there’s two way communication and respect, if we’ve got time and we’re not being rushed or harassed, we can probably twist up five or six of those elements and still make it a big WOW that will bowl the client over, at a more economical level!” .
“When dealing with the TALENT !“
“Over the years I have been fortunate enough to establish ties to some big names in entertainment and when it comes to charity events or awards (like the below) you need to call in some favours and rein in some big ego’s, so be aware. Working with one very important figure was one of the funniest experiences I can remember. As I wont name and shame lets just call him ” Lordy”. Well his Highness and team were supposed to be giving me ideas to dress a venue on a shoestring (it is for charity Jason) and they wafted in with all these big ideas of draping the place in amazing (and rather expensive) fabrics. I kept reminding everyone that they had a very small budget and they seemed to be taking it in, then they would come out with some ridiculously outlandish, extravagant idea! All in all it was great fun – although if he’d not been HIM it might have been a bit of a problem!”.
On that subject let me take you behind the scenes on an award ceremony that is very close to my heart, with HRH The Prince of Wales.
HRH The Prince of Wales attended the ceremony at the Odeon, Leicester Square and then the after party at my place, The Penthouse London. A wide selection of Celebrity Ambassadors both presented Awards, and made their appearances on the red carpet: Joanna Lumley, Tom Hardy, Adam Deacon, Gok Wan, Emeli Sandé, and Emma Bunton to name but a few.
Here is the Batman actor and soon to be new Mad Max, Tom Hardy presenting an award.
Celebrate Success is The Prince’s Trust recognition award series, celebrating young people who have changed their lives and those who have played a part in it.
HRH The Prince of Wales attended the ceremony at the Odeon, Leicester Square and then the after party that I organised and hosted at my place, The Penthouse London.
Million Makers is a national competition, challenging teams of employees and university students to come together and raise £1 million for The Prince’s Trust and make a real difference to the lives of disadvantaged young people across the UK. Teams from companies and organisations across the UK then implement and promote their own mini enterprise. Aspiring Million Makers entrepreneurs must work together to turn seed funding into profit for The Prince’s Trust over the course of six months, competing against each other to run the most profitable mini enterprise.
Now back to the basics of award shows and after parties. For some the reception is as important as the awards themselves. So when meeting your guests why not have your team holding a refreshing drink ?
Have the awards stand proud somewhere where everyone can walk passed and wander and its prestige and try and catch a early glimpse of who the winners are.
Sharing these moments of triumph are what these nights are all about. Whether it is with your peers or loved ones. The joy is equal.
Use Music to dramatise the moment, Music and a great MC are key.
” And the winner is…” What a fantastic moment, the moment that hush of silence falls over the crowd and everyone (whether a nominee or not) goes quiet in antici…………………………………….pation!”
As far as great MC’s go, there are few as good as Will and Wesley for drama and presentation.
Hosting the Awards or winning the awards, I must say I do enjoy both equally.
This is part 1 as I believe there is still so much to tell you about organising an Award show and of course I would love to hear all your ideas so please let me know about your award experiences ?
Till next time, tweet me at @Penthouselord and remember we in events have the greatest career ever..WE MAKE MEMORIES!
Hope you’re making yours count, for you, your guests and clients alike !